Are you WASH confident? No, we didn’t mean Wash!
WASH — Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene is a collective effort made towards access to safe water, proper sanitation, and hygiene awareness. One of the most underrated but most important factors that decide on the development of a country. WASH can reduce illness, death, poverty, and improve socio-economic conditions of a society. Developing countries face thousands of child deaths every year due to diseases like diarrhea caused by improper sanitation. In addition, lack of WASH facilities can prevent students from attending school, impose an unusual burden on women and reduce work productivity
Almost 40% of the world population does not have access to something as basic as a clean toilet. Hand-washing with soap before eating and after using the toilet (the most critical hygiene the most critical hygiene behavior) is not yet practiced widely or consistently. The consequences are severe. The global economic damage of poor sanitation is estimated to be very high, with people in developing nations bearing the brunt of this burden. Diarrhea caused by dirty water, poor sanitation and a lack of hygiene kills 800,000 people every year, including more children under the age of five than HIV/AIDS, malaria and measles combined.
The WHO/UNICEF global action plan which was launched in 2015 aims to ensure that all healthcare facilities in all settings have adequate water, sanitation, and hygiene services by 2030. To realize this aim, global task teams composed of WASH and Health professionals have been established to drive progress in four main areas: advocacy; leadership and policy; monitoring; evidence; and facility-based improvements. Within all four streams of work there is a focus on national action and solutions, documenting lessons learned, and working jointly with health sector colleagues to drive change in key areas such as quality universal health coverage, maternal, newborn and child health, infection prevention and control, and anti-microbial resistance.
Why WASH in Schools?
WASH in Schools has a significant positive impact on child health and on education outcomes. Safe, adequate water and sanitation facilities in schools, coupled with hygiene education:
• reduces the incidence of diarrhea and other hygiene-related diseases;• can have a significant impact on school enrollment, girl/boy enrollment ratios, absenteeism, and school performance;• can influence the hygiene practices of the children’s parents and siblings as children act as agents of change in their households and communities.
WASH is an important movement for the better growth of our children and for the safety of future generation.